Recreational Watercraft Accidents Increase
The inexperience of many recreational boaters is a factor contributing to an increased number of accidents on Estonian waters, says one veteran skipper.
On the night of July 21, a yacht capsized near Hausma off the coast of Hiiumaa. All four on board survived, the last two being fished out of the water about two hours later. They were wearing life vests.
The circumstances of this, the latest accident, are unclear. But Teet Kurs told ETV that people simply lack experience due to the relatively short period during which people have been free to sail local waters. At the same time, he noted, Estonia does require yacht operators to hold licenses.
Overall, the Western district's Border Guard chief, Margus Toomsalu, says that this year nine vessels have already run aground, compared to 11 all of last year. There have also been many engine breakdowns, broken masts and other mishaps, he said.